Our Story

The Forges activities peaked in the 1960s and 1970s, with 660 employees

In 1961, the Forges suggested to Tefal, a newly emerging company at the time, that it set up in a 3,000 m2 plant in Rumilly. So, the Forges served as a genuine laboratory for Pechiney and was one of its flagship sites. However, beginning in the early 1980s, economic hardships and the industrial crisis resulted in nationalisation and, afterwards, a series of acquisitions.

In 2006, the American investment fund AIAC purchased the Forges plant, which then became Alpine Aluminium. In 2012, the company was losing €1.5 million each year, leading to legal redress in 2014. On 9 June 2015, the employees submitted an offer to resume operations using a worker’s production cooperative format. On 15 July 2015 and after 4 months of intense work, the Tribunal de Commerce (French commercial court) authorised the return to business as put forward by the employees. They managed to convince clients, banks, communities and organisations to invest $10.5 million into their project.

This entire story, whether related to economic changes or technical developments, is now documented, making it possible to explain the site’s history, and includes the industrial context, the economic history, the social history and the technical history.

In this respect, the Alpine Aluminium worker’s cooperative has inherited a fundamental industrial heritage that is still alive today.